These Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs (Köttbullar) are so easy to make and will have you reminiscing about your last trip there. Perfect in flavor and texture, and faster to make than you can drive to IKEA.
We start with our take on a traditional recipe passed down from Björn’s Swedish mormor (grandmother) with meatball ingredients.
We then add a modern twist by making it in the Instant Pot, with the addition of the creamy sauce, à la IKEA.
We’ve been making Italian meatballs with marinara sauce in the Instant Pot for the longest time, and it’s been so convenient, to start at the last minute. Dinner is always a success and it’s really so simple.
We thought, why not make Swedish meatballs in the Instant Pot? They can be cooked quick as well, and the gravy can be made beautifully in sauté mode afterward.
We tried it and it’s the only way we’ll make them from now on. These copycat IKEA Swedish meatballs, are super tasty and unbelievable easy to make.
The secret to getting the meatball texture similar to IKEA’s, is to use a sturdy meat processor, strong enough to mix the meat into more of a paste than what you can do by hand.
You can also do this with the paddle on a Kitchenaid stand mixer. This will ensure that the texture of the meatballs are denser, similar to the ones at IKEA.
And it makes sense. Surely, they have quite the industrialized machines ready to easily process the quantity of meatballs they require.
That takes care of the meatballs, and, now on to that amazing meatball gravy.
Everyone loves gravy, am I right?
But, we don’t always love heavy cream in our meals. That’s why we make a substitution for heavy cream in our recipe.
Instead of heavy or double cream, we use Turkish labneh (a thick yogurt similar in flavor and texture to cream cheese). In this recipe, you won’t miss the cream at all!
We love to substitute labneh for cream in recipes and the results will not disappoint. In fact, once you try it, you’ll fall in love.
And, if you’d like to skip the gravy altogether, you can do that as we have included the recipe without gravy as well.
Content in this Post
- Ingredients in Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs With Gravy
- How To Make Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs With Gravy
- What To Serve With Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs
- What To Do With Leftover Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)
- Preparation and Storage Tips
- Instant Pot Meatball Variations
- You’ll Also Love
- More Swedish Recipes
Ingredients in Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs With Gravy
- Ground Meat — Our best result has been with half beef and half pork, and we highly recommend this meat mix. But you can use all beef if you prefer. Or you can alter the ratio of beef to pork if you like. Other types of ground meat, chicken, lamb, turkey can be substituted as well.
- Milk —
- Bread Crumbs — regular bread crumbs.
- Egg — one egg, to help with binding the meatballs.
- Butter — we use salted butter, but you can use unsalted. Add a quarter to a half teaspoon of salt to the recipe if using unsalted butter.
- Seasoning Salt — or you can use Swedish Grill Spice (Grillkrydda) — a basic spice blend with pepper and other common spices.
- Beef Broth — if you don’t have beef broth, you can substitute chicken broth, with a tablespoon of soy sauce added. It is super delish as well and you might even find that you prefer it this way.
- Flour — used to help thicken the meatball gravy at the end of the cooking process.
- Labneh — also used to thicken the gravy. Labneh is a thick yogurt similar to cream cheese in flavor and texture and it adds just the right creaminess to the gravy.
*NOTE: IF you’d like to make Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs without gravy – omit the last three ingredients in the list. However, you will need to add a cup of water or broth to the Instant Pot for it to come to pressure. And the step of deglazing the pot after browning the meatballs is still necessary to avoid the Instant Pot burn notification.
How To Make Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs With Gravy
Copycat Instant Pot Swedish meatballs are easy to make and a popular dish that everyone will love.
STEP 1 – Make the meatball mix (blend in strong food processor). This is to ensure the meatballs have a denser texture than what is possible with mixing by hand. We use the paddle function on a Kitchenaid stand mixer.
STEP 2 – Portion and roll into equal sized balls.
Brown half in the Instant pot using sauté mode with butter. Remove the browned meatballs and repeat with the second half.
You don’t want to overcrowd them in the pot, so it’s best to take this in two sessions so the meatballs retain their round shape. Remove the second batch of browned meatballs.
STEP 3 – Pour in the broth (you can use chicken broth with a tablespoon of soy sauce or beef broth) and deglaze the bottom of the Instant Pot to remove all of the stuck brown bits, that will help to flavor the gravy. Deglazing is also important to ensure you won’t get a burn message on your Instant Pot.
STEP 4 – Add in a trivet, and place browned meatballs on the trivet. Fasten the lid securely, turn the knob to sealing, and cook the meatballs on HIGH pressure for 7 minutes, followed by a quick release.
STEP 5 – Remove cooked meatballs to a serving dish and make the gravy. To the Instant Pot broth, in saute mode, add the flour and labneh, whisk well, and let thicken.
It’s helpful to remove a small portion of the broth to a bowl and whisk the flour into it before adding it all back into the Instant Pot. This is to ensure that the gravy is smooth, without clumps from the flour.
What To Serve With Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs
You’ll love to have Instant Pot mash potatoes with your Swedish meatballs. It’s perfect for catching all of that delicious meatball gravy!
It’s also typical to serve lingonberry jam, or cranberry sauce if you can’t find lingonberries, on the side. You can find lingonberry jam at IKEA’s supermarket, and well stocked local grocery stores might carry it.
Try this cranberry pineapple sauce Instant Pot recipe, you can make ahead of time. It’s spicy so omit the chili powder if you prefer mild sauce.
You can serve them with egg noodles or rice, if you like.
A salad is always a nice option to go with meat and potatoes. A regular house style side salad is a perfect choice. One of our favorite salads that goes with everything is this asparagus cucumber salad.
You can also serve copycat IKEA Swedish meatballs with steamed vegetables, like broccoli, peas, green beans, corn, carrots and cauliflower.
Make the leftover meatballs into a Swedish style open faced sandwich köttbullemacka with red beet salad (rödbetssallad).
What To Do With Leftover Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)
If you are lucky enough to have some leftover, you can reheat and serve as usual, with mashed potatoes. Or you can serve leftover Swedish meatballs over egg noodles, kind of like a stroganoff with gravy.
You can slice the meatballs and prepare a meatball pita pizza with them. They are delicious on a pita pizza.
You can also make a super delectable Swedish style sandwich that is popular in coffee shops.
Swedish meatball sandwich (köttbullemacka), with red beet salad (rödbetssalad), is a delicious open faced sandwich that you will love. It’s too tempting to pass a café (konditori) in Sweden without grabbing one of these.
But once you know how easy it is to make Swedish meatball köttbullemacka at home, you can have these as often as you like!
And seriously, how good must this sandwich be, to prefer to enjoy meatballs without gravy!
Preparation and Storage Tips
If you know you’ll be serving these soon, you can prepare ahead by making the meat mix and leaving it in a sealed container in the fridge. You don’t want to keep raw beef in the refrigerator for long though. You can prepare it earlier in the day for a meal the same day, or at night for the next days lunch or dinner. Keep an eye on the expiration date of the meat to be sure.
Once cooked, the meatballs can be safely kept in the fridge for three days. You can freeze them for about two months for best results. You can freeze the meatball gravy as well, best if in a separate freezer safe container with lid.
You can freeze uncooked meatballs as well for two months.
Save time by making ahead larger batches and freezing some meatballs or meatball mix for future meals. This is helpful when you know you’ll be too busy in upcoming weeks. It’s great to know you have some of the prep work done in advance.
Instant Pot Meatball Variations
Our Instant Pot Italian Style Meatballs Subway Copycat Recipe follow a similar procedure. You’ll definitely want to give them a try as well!
Instead of an IKEA style gravy, they have a garlic infused tomato marinara sauce, that is perfect over spaghetti or pasta. As well, Italian seasoning blend, parmesan cheese and parsley provide an Italian style flavor palette.
We can’t help but have conversations about which meatballs (Swedish or Italian style) we prefer. It’s practically inevitable, given our heritages.
But, rest assured, both recipes are fantastic and we’re sure we can all agree on that! In the end, we’re happy to have two great go-to recipes for meatballs.
You’ll Also Love
This IKEA shrimp sandwich is the perfect sandwich to fuel your shopping trips. It’s another super easy quick meal you can put together at the last minute with rave reviews from all.
More Swedish Recipes
Love Swedish food? Try these classic Swedish recipes:
- Instant Pot Jansson’s Frestelse — a rich and creamy potato casserole with anchovies and butter, the Instant Pot cooks all of the potatoes tender throughout the dish. No wonder this is called Jannson’s temptation!
- Seafood Sandwich Cake Smörgåstårta — layers of seafood fillings make up this decadent festive sandwich cake for special occasions.
- Traditional Smörgåstårta — a meat based sandwich cake with layers of deli style ham and roast beef, as well as a savory layer of liver pate and relish.
- Kebab Pizza Pita Recipe — make your own kebab meat in the Instant Pot, or use ready made gyro meat for convenience in this restaurant inspired kebab pizza with kebab sauce, lettuce and kebab peppers.
- Kebab Sauce — doner style kebab white sauce that is perfect to drizzle on your favorite kebab pizzas, kebab rolls (kebabrulle) and chicken pitas and more!
- Cabbage Pizza Salad — this light and refreshing pizza salad is super satisfying alongside all of your favorite pita pizzas.
- Mulled Wine (Glögg) — an invitingly warm and cozy warmed wine beverage with spices infused is perfect for the fall and winter seasons!
- Mini Crepes (plättar) — these mini crepes are a favorite for breakfast or to pack up and take along with you. Serve with jams, Nutella, or with butter.
- Thin Pancakes (pannkakor) — large crepe style pancakes that are delicious on their own, with butter or with any number of fruit, whipped cream, jam or Nutella fillings. Can be filled with savory toppings as well, for a memorable brunch.
- Smoked Salmon Gravlax Salad — a snap to prepare, with convenient ingredients like quick to thaw smoked salmon, prepared mesclun or spring salad mix and mustard dill sauce.
These are all recipes that we regularly make for our family. Give them a try and add to your rotation!
Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)
- ½ pound Ground Beef
- ½ pound Ground Pork
- ⅓ Cup Milk, 3.5% whole milk or 3.25% homogenized
- ¼ Cup Bread Crumbs
- 1 Egg
- 1 tablespoon Onion, grated
- 1 teaspoon Season Salt, grillkrydda
- 1 teaspoon Salt, Himalayan
- 1 tablespoon Butter, or avocado oil, for browning the meatballs
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock
- ½ Cup Labneh
- 2 tablespoons Flour
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- In a small bowl, combine milk and bread crumbs. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
- After the milk and bread crumbs have soaked for 10 minutes combine ground beef, ground pork, egg, spices and the milk and bread crumbs. Mix well. If you have a food processor that is able to chop meat, use one for best result.
- Use a tablespoon measuring cup to scoop up equal sized meat mix to form the meatballs. The recipe will make 30-36 meatballs of this size.
- Wet your hands under cold water and form the individual meatballs in the palms of your hands.
- Press Sauté on the instant pot, add the butter and brown half of the meatballs at a time. Make sure the meatballs are browned on all sides before transferring them to a plate.
- When all the meatballs are browned, pour in the chicken broth and deglaze the pot.
- Place a trivet in the instant pot and add all the meatballs to the pot. Pressure cook on High for seven minute. Quick release when completed.
- Transfer the meatballs to a serving bowl and remove the trivet from the instant pot.
- Sauté for 10-15 minutes until the gravy is thickened. Pour over the meatballs and serve with Instant Pot Mash Potatoes.
The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.